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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: UK kelp's Avatar
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    I recall seeing this on a wet afternoon many years ago. I remember it as a pacey thriller, with an actor I never really embraced, BUT! he was really excellent as the blind man that overhears an assasination plot in a London pub. Van Johnson was the lead, and that brilliant Irish actor Liam Redmond was a villain. The tense ending whith all the lights out....super stuff.

    Anyone remember this British film.

  2. #2
    Member Country: England
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    One of mine too - great atmosphere! Filmed on location in London. Usually suffers by being shown in pan and scan on TV rather than in widescreen.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: UK Merton Park's Avatar
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    Excellent film, remember it as a boy. Never used to be able to recall the title, then along came the Internet to act as my other memory and all was recalled. Saw it again on TV not that long ago, still a good film.



    I also liked Van Johnson in another great English film, The End of the Affair, it was set just around the corner from where I lived.

  4. #4
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    I only saw the film relatively recently, but it's one that I can watch over again. The plot is good; it isn't full of all this "lovey dovey" stuff - there's no snogging just as the hero and his girl are about to be crushed to death, by something coming at such a speed that a snog is really out of the question!



    Cecil Parker, as usual, plays his part convincingly and it is good to see views of London before it was completely ruined.



    I particularly like the scene when the blind man is lead to a bombed building; very scary. However, the only thing I find a bit disconcerting, is the amount of very American riverboat sounding fog horns on the Thames. I'm sure there were never that many!

  5. #5
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    Morning, luvvies! Did anyone see 39 Steps to Baker Street on the box yesterday? A cracking film with a good crime plot and priceless London street & river scenes in the 1950s. Fog, too! Never seen this pic before; funny how some just seem to escape you for so long!

  6. #6
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    Whoops, I mean 23 Steps. Wonder where I got 39 from!?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: Scotland julian_craster's Avatar
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    Very much one of those 'Hollywood London' films, like DIAL M FOR MURDER, MIDNIGHT LACE.

    Apart from a few establishing shots, the movie was shot in Hollywood.....

  8. #8
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    Julian, I've got into the habit of looking up a film in advance on imdb, so that I can spot the goofs when they appear. Cecil Parker put Van Johnson's scarf round his neck for him, then did it again a split second later in the next shot! Should I try and get out more?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: England
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    Interesting that Van Johnson's flat, 23 paces from Baker Street, has a balcony overlooking the Thames !

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo
    Interesting that Van Johnson's flat, 23 paces from Baker Street, has a balcony overlooking the Thames !
    Especially as his flat is supposed to be in Portman Square which is nowhere near the Thames, though Portman Square is just off Baker Street so that geography is correct. The view from his flat is obviously from a building on Embankment directly across from The Festival Hall area. Bit of artistic licence with the locale going on, not unusual in a film depicting London I suppose. Its a pretty good film with a Hitchcock style to it, lots of back projection and some establishing location shots, otherwise as mentioned earlier, the rest filmed in Hollywood.

  11. #11
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    I also feel that some films can transfer to television really well. The before mentioned

    Dial M' certainly and of course 23 Paces* from Baker Street (come to think of it that would put one inside Sherlock Holmes's flat - but now I am off the wall)

    Yes, the small screen is good for some and not for others.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    I didn't see all of it. So I am assuming that all interior shots were filmed in Hollywood and the exteriors were in London. Or did Cecil Parker and co had to fly out to Hollywood to shoot scenes?

    Ta Ta

    Marky B

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: UK Windthrop's Avatar
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    Presumably Liam Redmond was shipped out for his interior shots. I have a feeling alot of this film was actually shot over here interior and exterior.

  14. #14
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    I think there are 2 clues as to where it was shot.Firstly there is credited a second unit.Secondly if you look on IMB to the minor cast members you will see that they are basically all american.Whilst Fox would probably take parker and Benson over to the States it is unlikely that they would fly to the UK bit part players.Also none of the crew seem to be English so i would be prepared to wager at least a fiver that this was made in Hollywood.

    I believe that Cecil Parker owned an umbrella shop by a railway station.Good for an actor to have something to do when he is resting

  15. #15
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    Was good to see Cecil Parker doing his 'tec work, trailing the suspect woman through the streets on her shopping spree! He's always been a favourite of mine, with his quizzical expression and wonderful, hoarse voice! Shame I've never been able to find much about the man himself. Am just off to that cosy little pub now, where Van J overheard the kidnap plot. The landlady's so welcoming!

  16. #16
    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Windthrop
    Presumably Liam Redmond was shipped out for his interior shots. I have a feeling alot of this film was actually shot over here interior and exterior.
    There was certainly lots of location filming in London, in Bosley Crowther's New York Times review of the film he draws attention to the fact that this is another 20th Century Fox movie filmed in England to take advantage of Fox's "frozen funds", ie money earned by the studio in England which by law could only be spent in that country. I don't know if that would include studio interiors as well. Is there a credit at the end of the film saying filmed at Pinewood or Sheperton? The IMDB simply states that it is filmed in London England but , as has been mentioned, the cast a crew list smacks of the interiors being filmed in the US. mmm...mystery deepens

  17. #17
    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by orpheum
    I think there are 2 clues as to where it was shot.Firstly there is credited a second unit.Secondly if you look on IMB to the minor cast members you will see that they are basically all american.Whilst Fox would probably take parker and Benson over to the States it is unlikely that they would fly to the UK bit part players.Also none of the crew seem to be English so i would be prepared to wager at least a fiver that this was made in Hollywood.

    I believe that Cecil Parker owned an umbrella shop by a railway station.Good for an actor to have something to do when he is resting
    I tend to agree and I think the nationality of the crew members gives more of a clue than the cast, the cimematographer is American as are the set designers, set dresser, art director etc etc. I would have thought stirct Union rules would prevent US technicians invading a British studio,....it does all point to a Fox Hollywood film.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    Is indeed a good film, most Americans would think it was made in London

  19. #19
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    Up tillthe 50s as mentioned by jc above using establishing shots was a common occurence.Thus you would get a film called for example Saigon.A second unit would go to Saigon to take film to be used as process shots.They would also hire stand ins for the principals who would be dressed in the clothes to be worn and would say be photographed in long shot getting into a boat or rickshaw etc.Only with the breakup of the studio system did this way of filming come to an end.

  20. #20
    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by orpheum
    Up tillthe 50s as mentioned by jc above using establishing shots was a common occurence.Thus you would get a film called for example Saigon.A second unit would go to Saigon to take film to be used as process shots.They would also hire stand ins for the principals who would be dressed in the clothes to be worn and would say be photographed in long shot getting into a boat or rickshaw etc.Only with the breakup of the studio system did this way of filming come to an end.


    Mind you , Kubrick kept the tradition alive and well recently with "Eyes Wide Shut"by recreating New York at Sheperton Studios England and using second unit establishing shots of the real New York and doubles for Cruise in the long shots and so on.

    The trend now seems to be to create whole cities and countries in the studio or backlot with the aid of CGI! Or else have another city or country stand in for somehwere else! I think films are returning more and more to the tradition of working within a studio even for exteriors, just like the old days, but now the sets can be augmented with CGI. The American audience may have an idealised and mythical view of London based on how it is depicted on film, the equivelent for us Brits is perhaps our mythical view of a city like New York with many films set there actually filmed on the streets of LA or a west coast studio backlot, a trend still very much in evidence today, I happened to catch the end of "Phonebooth" on tv last night, set on a New York street but filmed in downtown LA. I think the reality is that filmakers will use whatever means at their diposal and within their budget to get the desired result. In Kubricks case going to the US to film would have seemed more logical, but then as we all know, Kubrick never liked to go too far from base camp in St Albans!

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